Which scents keep mosquitoes away from your home — Jessica’s student essay

Which Scents Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Home?

We all know how annoying mosquitoes can be. But did you know they can also spread germs and pass on diseases like West Nile virus, dengue, and Malaria? West Nile is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the U.S (CDC, 2020).

This is why, it is so important to keep mosquitoes away from your home. Mosquitos live in forests, marshes, and tall grass. They will also live near water to reproduce. 

The Zika and Chikungunya virus are of particular concern for people today. The chikungunya virus outbreaks began in 2014 and as of December 2016 there have been 3,869 cases in the United States (CDC, 2020). 

Another virus which is showing the CDC concerns is the Zika virus. This is due to the potential of the virus to cause Guillain Barre Syndrome. The first case of the Zika virus was reported in 2008 (CDC, 2020). As of July 2017, there have been a reported total of 5381 cases in the United States (CDC, 2020). These cases have mainly been reported in South Texas and Florida.

man use fumigation mosquitoes machine for kill mosquito carrier of Zika virus and dengue fever

I am a current resident of Texas and have lived in South Texas in the past. I still have family who reside currently in South Texas, so these hit close to home for me. While living in South Texas it was advised to wear bug spray with Deet and to use Citronella candles to ward off the mosquitoes. They would also sell “Mosquito plants” which would deter mosquitos as well. 

These could be found in any of the stores which sold plants. These would often be sold out and I would have to find other methods to deter mosquitoes because I had small children who liked to play outside. I would not like to use harsh chemicals like Deet on them, so I had to find more natural ways to allow them to play outside and give me peace of mind.

Tiger Mosquito

I found there are many different scents which have been used for centuries to ward off mosquitoes. They can either be planted outside your home or be used as a diffuser or even a body spray using essential oils. When using essential oils make sure to mix with water, witch hazel toner or even vodka (Mosquito Squad, 2019)! 

The essential oils best to use are lavender, peppermint, sweet basil, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil. You can even plant certain plants around your home to prevent mosquitos from invading. Plants such as lavender, peppermint, basil, citronella, garlic, rosemary, lemon balm, lemon grass, marigold’s, and catnip (Mosquito Squad, 2019).

I also noticed that mosquitoes seemed to avoid or bother less those who ate more food that contained the herbs like lavender, peppermint, basil, garlic, and rosemary. We would always tease my dad for eating so much garlic, but he would always have the last laugh at all the family gatherings. He was the only one who was not getting eaten alive by mosquitoes! I would have the citronella candles out, my “mosquito plants” out, and had as much lemon grass as I could find planted near the house and yet the mosquitoes chose us over him! Note to self when visiting South Texas eat lots of garlic and bring the essential oils!

Author: Jessica Carballo

West Coast University- Dallas campus


  • CDC. (2020, March 06). Where Mosquitoes Live. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes/about/where-mosquitoes-live.html
  • Mosquito, Squad. (2019). Essential Oils & Mosquitoes. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.mosquitosquad.com/blog/2019/july/essential-oils-mosquitoes/

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.